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John Kenworthy-Browne and Lin Barton

(b Milton Bryant, Beds, Aug 3, 1803; d Sydenham, Kent, June 9, 1865).

English horticulturalist, garden designer, and architect. He established his reputation as a gardener at Chatsworth House, Derbys, where he developed new construction techniques for glasshouses. This work inspired his acclaimed and influential ‘Crystal Palace’, which housed the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London (see fig.).

The youngest son of a farmer, Paxton lacked formal education and his professional training was in horticulture. He worked at Battlesden, Beds, and other country house gardens before employment in 1823 at the Horticultural Society’s new garden at Chiswick. While there he encountered the 6th Duke of Devonshire, who, impressed by his intelligence and bearing, asked him in May 1826 to be head gardener at Chatsworth, Derbys. Paxton rapidly brought the neglected garden to be possibly the most famous and influential in England. From 1831 he also edited and wrote in botanical magazines, becoming widely known and publishing many details of plants and improvements at Chatsworth (e.g. ...